Thursday, April 21, 2011
What's that in the middle of my yard? You may be wondering? Oh, well friends, that is the newest addition to Harjitshire: our rain barrel! Or, as I fondly call it, our White Trash Rain Barrel (WTRB). It was originally proudly perched in the middle of our yard. It is still too cold to plant (at least for my comfort level), and we haven't even tilled up the earth yet, so the WTRB was looking a little out of place, considering there isn't yet a garden next to it. There will be a garden there soon, but upon careful consideration, Greg and I decided the WTRB ought to be moved to a more ideal location. More on that later.
The rain barrel was constructed using an un-used trash can we had at the barn. In the bottom we (basically just Greg) sawed a tiny hole, and we attached some hardware, which amounts to a spigot with a turny knob to control the flow of water. It is a pretty good system, and it allowed us to fully explore the Lyme Home and Hardware store. Since the spout is on the bottom, we have it propped up on cinder blocks. Plus cinder blocks add to its white trash status.
Most rain barrels are ideally located under a downspout, so you can gather water from an area as large as the roof of your house. The barn does not have downspouts. This should not surprise you, as we do not even have an outdoor spigot. Part of the motivation for a rain barrel is to be more crunchy, by using rain water for watering the garden, as opposed to pumping well water. But part of the motivation for a rain barrel is mere laziness, so we can minimize the number of times we have to fill up the watering can in the bathtub and haul it outside.
Anyhow, since we don't have a downspout, we just covered the top of this trash can with mesh to make sure our rain barrel does not become a mosquito breeding ground.
We also decided to move the rain barrel in order to catch more rain. When it was sitting in the middle of the yard, it would have been conveniently close to the garden, but it was also catching water from an area of about four square feet. We moved it under the overhang of the barn's tin roof. Now we are collecting water from something more like twenty square feet. It isn't quite the same as collecting water from the Entire roof, but it is still a large improvement. We have great confidence that this was a good move, and a move that will work, because we moved it while it was raining.